We recently did the 1916 rebellion walking tour in Dublin city centre. It is a walking tour based on the history of the Easter rising and encompasses some of the main streets and buildings that were involved in the battles.
The tour meeting point is The International Bar on Wicklow street in Dublin 2, we did the tour on a Sunday and it started at 1pm and tickets cost €12. The tour gets a mix of tourists from around the world and locals. The guide Shane Kenna gave a background outlining the Easter rising before we headed off.
We then headed over to Trinity College. The guide explained how the British used Trinity College as an Army Base during the Rising and were able to use the roof of Trinity College to their advantage. He also told an interesting story about an Australian solder in the British Army.
We then walked up in the direction of O’Connell Street and the General Post Office, the GPO, which was the rebel headquarters during the Rising.
Then to Moore Street which was quiet, as it was a Sunday, the majority of the fish, veg and flower stalls were closed, only one flower stall and a fruit and veg stall were opened for business on the Sunday we visited. Moore street has seen better days with the Ilac shopping centre looking a bit dilapidated, its brings the street down.
There are 3 buildings on Moore street connected to the 1916 rising, Padraig Pearse, along with nurse Elizabeth Farrell and a group of volunteers took refuge in one of these buildings and then ended up breaking the wall through to the next building. In these buildings on Moore street, the last army council meeting took place and the decision to surrender was made.
Michael Joseph The O’Rahilly was a founding member of the Irish volunteers and managed the journal An Claidheamh Soluis. He was against an uprising taking place as he knew any such actions would result in defeat, just before the Rising started, he travelled around the country informing volunteers to not take up arms but by the time he arrived back to Dublin, soldiers had begun to mobilise at Liberty Hall, so he decided to join them, he stated “Well, I’ve helped to wind up the clock — I might as well hear it strike!”
The O’Rahilly came under attack as he lead a group of soldiers who were looking for an escape route out of the GPO. He died in a lane off Moore street, now renamed The O’Rahilly parade. As he lay dying, he penned a letter to his wife, which has been recreated as a poignant plaque on the lane.
On Moore Street, there are plaques commemorating the 1916 leaders, which quite controversially, are erected on the gates of an apartment complex, perhaps this was only meant to be a temporary commemoration but it is not very appropriate. It will be interesting to see how the 1916 commemoration visitor centre planned for Moore street will help to honour the memory of all those involved in the 1916 rising.
The 1916 rebellion walking tour is very interesting and well worth doing, it gives a great insight into the events that unfolded during the Easter rising and been able to see many of the streets and buildings where the battles were fought.